How To Win Friends And Influence People, And Fix Your Running Injuries!

Caroline displays her tight Vastus medialis, with a smile. Yep! Her knee pain wasn't a knee problem.

Caroline displays her tight Vastus medialis, at Johnny’s. Yep! Her knee pain wasn’t a knee problem. Photo by FitOldDog, with permission.

How to win friends and influence people, book by Dale Carnegie

Wish I’d read this book when I was a teenager, and then read it again, once per decade.

To fix your relationships and your body, LISTEN TO THEM!

I was raised in a family where no one listened, but talking never ceased. This caused me to interrupt as a kid, if I really needed something. There was no choice, but it set me up for very poor social skills as an adult. Fortunately, a good friend of mine, Byron, set me straight, and with a lot of work I interrupt less and less, and listen more and more. That’s what friends are really for – thanks, Byron!

I was in Johnny’s coffee shop the other day, when one of the barista’s, Caroline, asked me about her knee pain, induced by running. Having better listening skills, I heard her out, without interruption (I think?), and then provided my diagnosis and recommended treatment.

Caroline said, “I love to run, but haven’t done so in a long time. I decided to start again the other day, and it felt great, but my left knee was very sore the next day.” I asked how far she ran, on this first run since a long time, and she said, “Only four miles!” I then asked that she point out the location of the pain – medial knee.

This provided the information I needed to give some guidance, which I always precede with the statement, “Remember, I’m a veterinarian, not a medical doctor, so if you think there is some real damage in your knee you should see a Physical Therapist or Sports Physician.

A strained medial quad (Vastus medialis) can pull on the inside of your knee, and it can hurt a lot. The trick is to get it to relax.

A strained medial quad can pull on the inside of your knee, and it can hurt a lot. The trick is to get it to relax. Image From: Sports Knee Therapy.

However, it sounds like a classic case of muscle strain, probably the medial quad, the Vastus medialis. I would rest it, and roll it (not too much!), and ease back into running when it’s cured. Start by walk-running – walk a few miles, during which time you complete two or three short runs of about 100 yards. Then see how it feels in the morning. Repeat, three times per week, gradually increasing the amount of running, until you are really ready to run again. That’s it!”

Been there, done that, several times.

About one week later, Caroline reported a major improvement in her knee comfort, and was ready to start running again. I received a big smile and a free coffee for my trouble, and I really appreciated the smile more than the coffee – though the coffee was good too!

It comes down to listening and caring, as is so effectively described in that old, but timeless, book, by Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends And Influence People.

Wishing you happy trails.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.